Sex abuse probe will consider damage of false allegations

Posted On: 
3rd April 2016

A probe into child sexual abuse by high profile figures will address the damage inflicted by false accusations made against innocent people.

Justice Lowell Goddard is leading the inquiry into historical sexual abuse.

Justice Lowell Goddard said the inquiry into historical child sexual abuse would not only focus only on victims and survivors.

Her comments come after Conservative former MP Harvey Proctor declared false allegations made against him had “irreparably ruined my life”.

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Police raided his home and and questioned him over claims of rape but found no evidence to consider a prosecution.

In an article for the Observer, Justice Goddard dismissed claims from commentators about how the inquiry will conduct its work.

"Those who have claimed recently that the inquiry will consider only the perspectives of victims and survivors, and exclude those of others affected by allegations of child sexual abuse, are wrong,” she wrote.

"As I announced last November, the inquiry intends to explore the balance that must be struck between encouraging the reporting of child sexual abuse and protecting the rights of the accused."

Justice Goddard also insisted the probe will not focus only on celebrities, saying they did not feature in the majority of the 13 cases already opened.

The probe is considering allegations of past and ongoing failures to protect children by public institutions, as well as broader issues such as the impact of the internet.